ISLAMABAD-Pakistan’s gifted squash player Farhan Mehboob Khan is upbeat about his chances in the $25,000 President Gold Cup International Squash Championship 2016, commencing from December 30 here at Mushaf Squash Complex.

In an interview with The Nation on Monday, Farhan, fresh from winning the DG Rangers Squash Championship title, said: “I had decided almost to quit squash after getting highly frustrated with the step-motherly treatment by the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) and was seriously thinking on the lines of settling abroad, but my father and especially The Nation not only bucked me up, but also played instrumental role in convincing me to change my decision.

“I am grateful to former PSF president Air Chief Marshal (R) Tahir Rafique Butt and current president Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman for giving me confidence and providing me facilities. After 5 years, I again started playing squash and achieved many feats once again,” he added. Farhan urged the PSF president to ensure that promises made to him must have been fulfilled in true letter and spirit. “I have started regaining full fitness while recently won the CAS and DG Rangers titles, which is a clear indication that I am ready to rule the squash world. I am eager to excel at international level, for which I need full support of PSF, as they must send me for PSA events, so that I may climb back to the PSA ladders.”

Farhan has said that when players are busy in holidays and enjoying fun with families, he was in the squash courts. “I have not taken even a single day rest and continuously playing squash with just one purpose that is to win international laurels for my country. I had beaten all the top ranked players, who are in the top 10 or outside top 10 in the recent past and I am more than capable of doing so time and again. The federation must arrange top level coaches and fitness trainers for all the top squash players, which will certainly help us all to improve our game and skills and outshine international players. The only difference between us and international players is that they get maximum facilities and play PSA events round the year.

“I had to play qualifiers to earn the right of playing in the main rounds of $25,000 events held in Pakistan, but after series of exceptional performances, I am playing the main round of the President Gold Cup, which is quite exciting,” he added.

“Although President Gold Cup will be very competitive as top international stars are coming to showcase their skills, yet I am confident that local players will pose serious challenge to them. I am sure beside me, Farhan Zaman, Tayyab Aslam, Israr Ahmed, Abbas Shoukat, Asim and wildcard recipient Ahsan Ayaz are also capable of creating upsets in the event. I hope the President Gold Cup will stay in Pakistan and one of us will surely manage to lift it,” Farhan concluded.